Staff Photo: Jason Braverman Cindy Trainer and Ceci Richmond are reflected in a garden ornament on display at the Yellow Daisy Festival at Stone Mountain Park on Thursday morning.
STONE MOUNTAIN -- Thursday morning, Stone Mountain Park opened it's gates to thousands of crafters, artists and shoppers for the 43rd Yellow Daisy Festival, which lasts through Sunday afternoon. More than 400 vendors from 38 states and two countries have their works on display for purchase.
"I've been a vendor here for four years and I think we found out about it word of mouth from other artists," said Laurie Dayvault of Acworth and owner of the online store Go Jump In The Lake. "We are successful here. For the first day (of the festival), it's been a pretty good one."
People from around the state came to the park geared up with black buggies to hold the loot, shopping buddies to spot good deals and comfortable shoes to walk up and down hills comfortably.
"I plan for this event every year," Candy Cheatham of Tucker said. "I have a long list in my head of people to shop for -- grand nieces, grand nephews, friends and relatives."
Cheatham wore dress clothes with beige Timberland boots and a large cart full of purchased goods and she wasn't the only one.
Mothers threw their items into their children's strollers while the young ones carried lighter bags. Husbands, boyfriends and other male companions also received the task of holding the handcrafted goodies.
Shoppers found arts and crafts in a variety of categories, ranging from accessories to wood. Two women at the event were looming their own wool to knit sweaters and scarves.
It wasn't all work for the shoppers. There was live music on the Humana main stage at the entrance of the event and the children ran into the Bubbleman nearby. He blew bubbles of all sizes into the air and the kids would run to pop the floating orbs.
Groups of friends made sure to come together for support and camaraderie. Vickie Fraser of Cumming and Sammie Garnett of Murphy, N.C. arrived with two other friends for a day full of shopping
"We come every year because its one of the biggest craft shows in the area," Fraser said.
Garnett added, "We buy teacher's gift, things for the grandchildren and Christmas gifts. I think the quality of the craftsmanship is excellent."
There were other things to enjoy while at Yellow Daisy including the food area with large dining tent, the Children's Corner and craft demonstrations. All attendees are allowed to stay for the Saturday night Lasershow Spectacular in MountainVision on the park's lawn. Plus, on Sunday the JaneDear Girls will be headlining a country concert.
"I took a vacation day to come for the first day," Cheatham said. "It seems like every time I'm not here, the things that I specifically want to buy are gone, but honey, I've got my Timberlands on with my shopping cart and I'm ready to go."
There is also a Yellow Daisy Festival Flower Show in Stone Mountain Park's Memorial Hall on today, Saturday and Sunday. The theme is "Daisy ... Fabulous at Forty."